This month Level 8 has had a lot of fun as we have been getting deeper and deeper into our research projects. The students have now completed their first draft of their essays, and I have to say I am extremely impressed with what they’ve managed so far. They have shown themselves to be independent in their thinking and research abilities, and I can’t wait to get started working on our presentation

In Social Studies, we have talked about the Jacksonian era, which brought us into a somber discussion of the Trail of Tears, a sad and shameful moment in American history. I appreciate the maturity of the students as we tackled this sensitive topic. We also have begun learning about the Industrial Revolution, and the far-reaching changes that it wrought on our world have only just begun unfolding in our narrative.

In Science we have been covering more topics in physical science, including a discussion of mass and volume and the states of matter. The students were challenged with a mathematical and scientific puzzle when presented with a handful of marbles, a few glass jars, some graduated cylinders, and a pitcher of water and asked to devise a method to use those materials to measure the volume of the water. They worked together very well, and before long had figured it out.

In Writing class, the students have been very much enjoying working on a series of survival stories. In each case, a difficult environment such as the jungle, desert, or arctic was chosen and a set of given items chosen as well, and the students have to invent a clever character who can use those items to survive and eventually make his or her way out of the situation. The students rose to this incredible writing challenge and wrote some excellent work, samples of which you see here.

April has been an awesome month, and I am excited to move forward to the next steps in each of our areas of study, and especially to continue working on these outstanding research projects. Great job, Level 8!